Keep Treading the Water

Willows over water

Living in recovery (or at least attempting to) is strange. At times, the current sweeps you under and pins you under the water until you feel your lungs about to burst. Other times, the water seems like a calm pool, perhaps even enjoyably cool and refreshing.

Then there are days, weeks, months, years when you are just treading the water. You aren’t about to drown, but your feet certainly do not touch the ground to stabilize you. Each recovery-based choice takes considerable effort and seems like a waste most of the time. However, making those healthy choices is not impossible.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with OCD

bulletin board

My bulletin board might not look perfect, but that does not mean I am free of OCD.

“Oh, I must set everything up in a certain way. I am so OCD.”

How often do you hear that? People often make comments about OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) that are dismissive and unsympathetic towards those who actually have the disorder. This creates lack of awareness and support surrounding mental illness.

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Ten Signs Your Medication Is Not Working

Stone gargoyle at Be Our Guest

You can feel miserable with the wrong medication.

Medication for depression or other mental illness is a tricky thing to manage. Everyone responds differently to it. Some people find that Prozac allows them to think clearly while others have racing thoughts with that medicine. Others love Zoloft despite the fact that others dislike it.

Just like our bodies are made differently, our illnesses have different remedies. Finding that right medication is the key.

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9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges – By Laura Willard

This is so beautiful! A tattoo can be a great sign of recovery, creativity, and hope. It is not for everyone. For example, I doubt that I will ever get one. However, I think it can be a wonderful coping skill.

Kindness Blog

If you’ve been online this week, you’ve probably seen something about the semicolon tattoo.

 But in case you haven’t, here’s the short version: It’s a tattoo that represents mental health struggles and the importance of suicide prevention.

I wrote an article about it earlier this week. When we posted it on Facebook, our readers shared inspiring messages, stories, and words of encouragement for one another, and many also posted pictures of their own semicolon tattoos.

I was blown away by the responses and reached out to several of the people who posted their own photos.

They were happy to share their tattoos and stories. I was touched by what they told me, and I hope you also find encouragement, hope, and inspiration in their words. Here are their stories.

  1. A mom and her daughters, fighting together.

9 Beautiful Semicolon Tattoos Shared to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges - By Laura WillardDenise and her daughters, Tayler and Olivia, got their semicolon tattoos right before…

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Ten Reasons I See Myself As Better and Worse Than Others

Me at Goodwill

We have reasons why we are better/worse humans even if we do not realize them.

At my university’s chapel yesterday, the speaker gave an amazingly candid and thought-provoking exercise for us to do. “List the reasons why you think that you are a better person or Christian than others. Then list the reasons why you are worse.”

Even more shockingly, he went on to list some of his reasons. I similarly made lists in my notebook. Looking back at the items was a strong jolt of reality for me. Pride and superiority is a far bigger issue in my life than I ever realized. In fact, all of us seem to battle this more than we want to admit even if it is hidden in the guise of self-hate.

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Listaliciousness: Color Photograph of Pluto, Fandom Musicals, and Prom Dresses

Tea

Afternoon Tea

One week of performances down, one more to go. Only a little bit more time before finals and Florida. Everything is rushing past me. I feel like I am clinging to a palm tree during a hurricane. Hopefully, my arms will be strong enough to keep hanging on despite the wind.

This weeks links are a very interesting blend of various items. Hopefully, you will enjoy the list!
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Top Ten Signs of Discontent

Me in black and white

Are you struggling with being discontent?

I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.

Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.

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I Don’t Think You Know What That Word Means

Words are slippery little doohickeys. Over the course of time, they change in meaning, morph into taboos, and are molded from new popular new phrases. A perfectly respectable word can became the worst swear, or a harsh insult can transform into a humorous remark. Language is a funny thing that way.

Thus, using words in incorrectly is a common mistake. We all play a role in reshaping language. Yet, certain words in the wrong context bother me because their usage is inconsiderate, ignorant, or offensive. The people saying them often do not intend for this meaning, but that does not take away from the damage that can be done. So, remember that this post is not to judge but hopefully to shed light on what we might say without even thinking. Here are just a few of the words or phrases that are used incorrectly and bother me.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone on Antidepressants

Much debate surrounds medication including antidepressants. Some people say that diet and other holistic methods are better than Western medication. Others argue that mental illness is not a true disease but can be overcome by willpower. While medicine is over-diagnosed at times, neither of these responses helps those who are struggling with depression or another such disorder.

For the past few days, I have not taken my strongest and most helpful medication. As explained in my post yesterday, my mood has been very low. Last night, my mother convinced me to take my medicine again. Although life is still not rosy, I feel much better today if sleepier. This just proves the importance and potency of medication.

Still, as shown above, people continue to judge those who take antidepressants. Here are some comments that people have made which is hard for a person taking medication for mental illness.

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The Silent Scream for Help

Girl sadly thinking "what now"

Now what?

All of me has been screaming out today or really the past few months. My mind, my feeling, my very blood coursing through my body is screeching with pain. I do not know where to turn or who to go to as the thoughts grow louder and more desperate.

When I hear of people who cannot take it anymore and do something dirastic, I understand. Life can feel so unbearable. A box of hot iron box closing in slowly as it burns you alive, an avalanche of snow burying you frozen in place with lessening oxygen, a whip that cracks down open your back until you are raw and exposed with no ability to stand on your own – that is life now.

Yet, even looking at those metaphors seems lame. When I try to speak, my words embarrass me. Whines and petty annoyances, that is all I seem to articulate. People judge that and me which turns off even more of my lights of hope that I desperately tried to switch on. Flip, flip, flip. Each day, a few more lights are switched off.

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